How to Find a Good Local Lawyer
Choosing a good lawyer is no different to choosing any other product or service. It is important to find a lawyer who suits your needs. Whom you feel comfortable, whom you trust and have confidence. A thorough research is necessary to help you make an informed decision.
The nature of your legal problem will determine the type of lawyer you need to hire. Most lawyers concentrate their practice in a few legal specialties such as family law, criminal law, employment law, personal injury law, bankruptcy or civil litigation. Therefore, it is important to retain a lawyer with expertise and experience in the practice area for which you require services.
Once you secure a short list of lawyers with expertise in the appropriate practice area, you should carefully research each candidate following some simple steps. And as funny as it may sound, one of the best way to finding your lawyer is by ‘interviewing them’, where you can assess the lawyer’s legal ability & suitability for you and your legal requirement. Most solicitors will provide an initial consultation, usually an hour or less, at no or moderate fee.
Word of mouth and referrals from friends, relatives and business associates are a good way to find a lawyer, as these individuals have no vested interest, financial or otherwise in recommending a certain attorney and can communicate any positive or problems they encountered in their dealings with a particular lawyer or the firm. While it is tempting to hire a referred professional, it is important to evaluate whether he or she is the best fit for you & your needs. Remember, Nike is not for all!
Legally Logan: Madsen Law
Protecting Your Business, Your Family, Your Future
So in choosing your lawyer, here are few questions to consider:
- What experience does the layer have in your type of legal matter?
- How long have they been in practice?
- What is their track record of success?
- Do they have any special skills or certification?
- What percentage of their caseload is dedicated to handling your type of legal problem?
- What are their fees and how are they structured?
- Who or who else would be working on your case and what are their rates?
- Do they ‘outsource’ any key legal tasks or functions?
- Can they provide references from other clients?
- Do they have written fee agreement or representation agreement?
- How will they inform you of developments in your case?
Keep in mind that a higher fee does not necessarily equate with a more qualified attorney. Consequently, a rock bottom fee may signal problems, inexperience or incompetence.
And these are some of the questions you may ask following the initial meeting:
- Are the lawyer’s experience and background compatible with your legal needs?
- Did they provide prompt and courteous responses to your questions?
- Are they someone whom you feel comfortable?
- Are you confident they possess the skill and experience to handle your case?
- Are you comfortable with the fees, fee structure & terms
Touring the Lawyer’s Office
You can tell a lot about an attorney from their law office. Request a brief tour of their office, beyond the office or conference room where you met with the lawyer. Is the law office neat, orderly, efficient and well-run? What kind of support staff does the lawyer employ? Does the staff appear friendly and helpful? Is the lawyer’s office local and easily accessible? Is a large portion of his office space unoccupied? Watch for red flags, such as mass disarray, unhappy staff members, and empty offices.